The Historical Society of Moorestown invites the community to attend an overview presentation of its upcoming quilt exhibit at the township library on Oct. 12.
Society Vice President Linda Vizi is the curator of the new exhibit and will share the steps she took to research the stories of quilt signers.
“Normally when you put a quilt out in a quilt show, people look for fabric, they look for design, which is certainly here, but we decided because we’re a historical society, that we want to see where they fit into history,” Vizi said.
“Inscribed Quilts: A Portal to Moorestown History” will be held at the Smith-Cadbury Mansion on Nov. 4 and will feature inscribed – or signature – quilts from the mid-1800s. According to moorestownhistory.org, the opening event will tell stories to paint a picture of life in Moorestown during the mid-1850s.
Each quilt signature tells the story of a group of Moorestown residents who were courageous, inventive and daring, and each story will illustrate their hard work, determination, devotion and foresight.
The quilts are preserved in acid-free paper in acid-free boxes in a temperature-controlled room.
“We take them out and we refold them so they don’t crease on a regular basis,” Vizi said of the exhibit. “ … Once I started reading (a) little bit of history … there were just little notations about a lot of the signers, and I (thought), ‘There (has to) be more.’”
According to the American Quilters Society’s appraiser and historian, Karen Dever, inscribed or signature quilts were made using embroidery, cross stitch and inking, with signatures or stamps. Indelible ink was available after 1840, making it possible to not only sign a quilt, but add inscriptions including poetry, personal messages or other information.
“The other thing I think is, once they’re out here and people start seeing the names, there’s so many descendants from these families in the area, in Virginia, in Pennsylvania,” Vizi explained.
“I have a feeling that we’re going to learn a whole lot more about these people,” she added. “The more people say, ‘Oh, that’s my relative or I’m living in that house that this (person) lived in,’ I think we’re going to get a whole lot more information.”
Vizi wants to display the quilts up for the foreseeable future.
“That’s the story (of) who they were, where did they live and who is descendent from them?” she said.
For more information, visit https://moorestownhistory.org.